Friday 21 March 2008

20th Mar 2008 - Stop Pot , Minarets

The last trip of the official TNC season saw Phil, John Tom and Alistair make a quick dash to the classic photo location of the Minarets before Phil's 50th Birthday meal.

Phil at the Minarets

Thursday seems to be getting a popular night for caving as we actually had to wait for a team of two to come out of Wretched Rabbit before going into the cave, and several other groups were chalked up on the board at Bull Pot Farm. As we were limited for time we just took a few photos today, as we passed Eureka Junction, and a few in the large silent caverns of Snail and Cornes Cavern before reaching the Minarets on Phils time limit. It only took an hour to get back to the entrance from the Minarets, and that included 5 minutes searching for the connection at 4 ways chamber/depot passage. So this is the last post until the Autumn Equinox (is it John?).

Watch for a variety of summer activities!

Click here for full screen slide show

Thursday 6 March 2008

6th March 2008 - Cave X

One of the fine chambers in Cave X

A real treat this week as we were lucky enough to find the location of a newly discovered cave. Although only short it had a bit of everything. Small entrance passages, large chambers, ladder pitch, streamway, waterfall, beautifully decorated chambers, a duck (that made John happy!) and a dirty sump (that made Alistair happy!)

The route finding always felt like it was going to be tricky, especially after the rather small entrance passages and the horizontal tube that had been enlarged/excavated to gain access to the main chamber. In the end you could go far wrong, although care was needed through an area of huge boulders, where you had to clamber under, over, and around to weave a way through to the fine ladder pitch.

Dark rock below the ladder pitch
The nature of the cave changed here with very dark rock and a fine waterfall. Then just around the corner a fine chamber with curtains and straws. (see above).

Through another chamber with unusual calcite formations was a cold "duck" where you had to avoid sucking in the cold water! (watch video to see John sampling the water!) Some more great formations made it worth the discomfort though and just a short way further was a dirty foamy sump, that even put Alistair off.

On the way out of the cave we briefly checked some of the other passage ways leading off the large chamber: a wet rocky passage with a gravel floor and fine helictites, a rope leading up to a small inlet amongst others. Then back up into the entrance series and our exlporation was over.

Thanks to the guys who gave us permission to check this cave - we trod very carefully!

Click here for a full screen slide show

Click here for a 7 minute video of the trip